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Mostly Single Hop Brew

I’ve been brewing for the last 10 years (last 3 all grain). Between my own beers and commercial beers, American IPA is definitely my favorite style right now. So, I know I like American style hops, but I don’t know which varieties are my favorite. I’ve begun tinkering with IPA recipes, but it’s hard to decide what late addition hops to add.

To figure out which hops are my favorites, I’d like to brew a series of beers, each with a single variety of hops for the late additions (not a new idea, I know).

So, two things I would like some help on:

  1. Picking the right “American” hops to try. My first thoughts are Cascade, Amarillo, Simcoe, Columbus and Centennial. Of these, I can only find Cascade and Columbus now! I’ve used Cascade extensively and really like it, but is Columbus a good choice? Are there other suitable varieties that are available now?
  2. Can I just use the hops interchangeably, or do I need to adjust the amounts?

Base recipe (This is what I’ve brewed in the past and have really liked it with the Cascade. I like to keep things simple, but am open to suggestions)

10 Gallon batch
20 lbs. 2 row
1.5 lbs. crystal 60
1 oz. magnum pellet 60 minutes – I plan to stick with the magnum bittering hops
1 oz. perle pellet 30 minutes – I plan to ditch this relic of the SN clone
2 oz. cascade pellet 15 minutes
2 oz. cascade pellet 5 minutes
4 oz. cascade pellet flame out
2 oz. cascade whole dry hop (1 oz. each carboy)
Ferment with Safale US-05

I’d really appreciate the help! Thanks!

I have made single hop APA/IPA’s with all of the hops that you listed. I was extremely pleased with all of them except the all amarillo APA because it was “too smooth.” Your recipe is solid, so go ahead and start experimenting.

Yes, I think you can use them interchangeably as long as you get the same amount of IBU’s


Sounds like a good plan. I like Columbus, its got a pine flavor that complements the more citrusy hops in a blend. I also like Magnum as bittering hop for pales, very smooth. I haven’t gotten used to the bite of Chinook bittering yet.

I did an all Pacific Jade APA, I was surprised it wasn’t more citrusy but it was good stuff. Amarillo is great, Ahtanum, Citra, Sorachi Ace, Simcoe if you can find it, Summit. And Centennial is what got me hooked on the citrussy hops. You can learn from doing single hop beers, but I’m not positive you’ll know what combinations are going to be superior.

Keep some bottles and you can try blending the beers in the glass to find interesting combinations. I also just wing it and use four or five in combo to make my own versions of Flaconers Flight kind of thing. One summer I used Simcoe, Centennial, Columbus and Amarillo and that was a very good series of pale ales. I try and include a piney hop, and then a variety of citrus flavors (grpaefruit, tangerine, lemon) since they al go together. Then your Simcoe or Summit or something with a certain dankness/cat pee thing going on for some complexity. Believe me, you won’t find a combination thats bad.

Thanks! I’m going to try the columbus in my next brew. Then I think my next choice will be based on whatever hops I can get my hands on.

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